The Sociology Brochure

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We want to shake things up. We challenge the basic precepts people bring to their understanding of society and culture. Our approach reflects the vast complexities of the modern, interconnected world. In order to adequately understand large-scale social problems, we combine areas that are often viewed separately: politics and emotion, science and justice, nature and the city. We imagine social actors working together to create new and different possibilities


Our work is characterized by five broad areas of concentration:

Political Economies and Ecologies
Draws on the tradition of radical political economy in Sociology and our department’s historic commitment to embed this approach in an environmental framework.

Sociology Department by the numbers

• 3,900 students enrolled in sociology classes
• 789 sociology majors
• 65% of majors are first-generation college students
• 37 graduate students
• 14 full-time faculty
• 7 faculty-led research centers and initiatives
• 16 books published since 2005
• 22 book awards

Space, Place, and Mobility
Informs a range of interdisciplinary work in the politics of difference, migration studies, urban studies, and diaspora and border studies.

Culture, Knowledge, and Power
Brings together approaches in media and cultural studies alongside science and technology studies.

Publics, Policy, and Law
Includes both explorations of policy and/or law as an object of study as well as ways in which our research may itself inform policy and/or legal changes.

World Building, Political Imaginaries, and Alternative Futures
Encompasses a range of theoretically engaged work that explores the potential for social change in ways that are speculative and often experimental.

Our approach is both critical and interdisciplinary. We study macro-level social issues, examine social systems, and focus on how these problems are experienced and affect people’s everyday lives.


To continue challenging dominant social norms and structures that perpetuate social inequalities, we are focused on these specific goals:

• Improve the undergraduate experience
By increasing access to internships and field study programs; launching field programs in public policy, civic engagement, and inequality; and enhancing writing mentorship and instruction.

• Enhance the graduate experience
By attracting and retaining top candidates from across the country.

• Upgrade existing technology
By supporting ongoing research and increasing interactivity for teaching and distance learning.

• Recruit faculty
By establishing endowed chairs in areas of critical racial studies, new technology and governance (privacy), political economy, the global south (Latin America/Africa), and critical media studies.

Establish public-facing platforms
By implementing conferences, speaker series, major events, and an endowment for a major academic forum.

• Invest seed money
By recruiting post-doctoral researchers and hiring visiting scholars.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr. 


Our research works to change the way people commonly understand the social and physical world in ways that move toward greater social justice. We need your help to improve our programs and expand our reach.
Your gift makes all the difference.

For more information call the Social Sciences Division Office at 831.459.3857 or email